Vets Walking Pets: Strolls with Shelter Dogs May Reduce PTSD Symptoms in Military Veterans

About 6 to 8 million dogs end up in shelters in the U.S. each year. Researchers worked with two no-kill shelters on a study examining the effects of walking with a shelter dog on psychological and physiological stress indicators in military veterans. Results confirm the importance of the human-animal bond and provide evidence that walking with a shelter dog may affect psychological and physiological stress indicators in veterans – with particular potential benefits for those with an increase in PTSD symptom severity.

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Immune from Chronic Stress? Limit Inflammatory Signaling to Specific Brain Circuits

Chronic stress is associated with the pathogenesis of psychological disorders such as depression. A study is the first to identify the role of a neuronal receptor that straddles the intersection between social stress, inflammation, and anxiety in rodent models of stress. Findings suggest the possibility of developing better medications to treat the consequences of chronic stress by limiting inflammatory signaling not just generally, which may not be beneficial in the long run, but to specific brain circuits.

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UTEP Study Examines COVID-19 Stress, Coping Strategies, and Well-Being

Emre Umucu, Ph.D., assistant professor of rehabilitation counseling at The University of Texas at El Paso, and Beatrice Lee, an incoming rehabilitation counseling faculty member, examined the perceived stress levels and coping mechanisms related to COVID-19, and how coping affects well-being in people with self-reported chronic conditions and disabilities.

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COVID-19 and Connectedness: Finding a Balance in Our Online Lives

As uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic quarantine wears on, there remains one constant: a reliance on the internet, social media, and streaming services for work, school, entertainment, and keeping in touch with friends and family. But is the increased screen time — and the resulting onslaught of emails, memes, and media consumption that come with the removed barrier between work and home — taking a toll on our mental health? For answers, we turned to Simon Gottschalk, a UNLV sociology professor and author of “The Terminal Self: Everyday Life in Hypermodern Times,” which examines the social and psychological toll of our increasingly online lives on work, education, family life, interactions, our sense of self, and more.

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